I Lost a Friend Before His Time
I am a little late in writing this, but my since departed friend’s birthday was October 24. As had become custom, a few of his friends and family met at his gravesite to reminisce and “catch up.” He passed away July 1 of 2020, due to heart complications. Jeff had recently purchased a new mountain bike, and he was itching to ride it. He wore all of the proper gear, including a helmet, and was off to the races. His home was located in a neighborhood situated near a couple-mile bike path. This was the perfect location to try out his new wheels. It was around noon on a pretty hot day, and Jeff was only ten minutes into his ride. As described by a few pedestrians, Jeff was riding, and then he veered off the bike path and spilled into a ditch. They were unable to revive him. To say he went suddenly would be an understatement.
Given he was my namesake, we always called him “Little Jeff,” as I happen to be taller. This was always a diminutive name, in my opinion, but one he never seemed to mind. Jeff was an exceptional human being. The kind of friend who would drop anything and drive out to see you or meet you at any location. As my Dad always stated, “a true friend is someone who will pick you up at an airport.” Jeff was this type of guy. Jeff was the one friend you could expect a call out of nowhere, and he was genuinely interested in what was going on in your life. He would also be the first to call and ask if you had purchased the latest Apple product. To say Jeff loved life would be accurate. You could see this by the way he treated his family and the people around him.
If I had one regret, it’s that I did not spend more time with Jeff. As we moved into our forties, life seemed to get in the way. Weekends always seemed to be planned out months in advance. If I can emphasize one thing, make time for those people who matter most. I realize every day, our time is fleeting, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. I will miss our talks on the phone and our playful ribbing when meeting up to watch a football or hockey game, but I miss my friend most of all!
Little Jeff and Big Jeff